Dale is a brave and fortuitous soul. Although he’s passed from this physical eden, he is sure to be watching us from the vaulted halls of heaven. While in our world, Dale was a man sure in his beliefs and devout in his faith; a loving father, caring, gentle and a modest husband who always put others before him. Throughout his full life Dale was a man of principle and simple truth. His tenents: treat others as family, trust others and most importantly, love and value each day for the joy it offers. As a man Dale lead an extraordinary life… from working on the Mississippi to Arizona and Missouri…there was never a day Dale let slip past him.
Dale often said to me, “God has gifted me with two beautiful women, sons to treasure and a full life, I have no regrets.” He knew that his life was full and he knew this day would come. He took precautions and made sure we knew how much he loved all of us. His understanding of life ensured that no matter what, his love Lois Eggers, and family would be taken care of after his passing. Dale passed doing what he had to do to ensure that his family was protected. And we can say without doubt that Lois and our great family all together were by his side in his thoughts as he passed. His eternal love and strength has gifted him with the beauty of fortitude, virtue, love and a life that he wouldn’t have traded for anything. He now watches over his family in heaven. Without a doubt giving his characteristic strong hugs and drinking a bottle of blackberry brandy.
Dale was a man who touched my life. Always a strong supporter of our family, he was able to see me off and we said our goodbyes as I left for the airport to come to Italy. Now, thousands of miles away, I don’t know how to salute such a soul as he continues his journey beyond our understanding. I can only celebrate my memories of him…teaching Alex and me gin rummy at a ranch where we’d learned to ride…hiking through the hills in Sedona – Mandy by our side…or his hugs and confident unwavering support of everything Alex and I did. There was never question of his love or his spirit. I remember so vividly the day he came for Thanksgiving at our house and offered me a cup of strong blackberry brandy. We took a sip and savored the strong vicious discourse of brandy with the sweet tang of blackberry. A tradition he’d held every Thanksgiving. His stories of life captaining barges on the Mississippi, the joy that he’d had in his life, the pure enjoyment that he could never forget.
Dale, you’re in my thoughts every day. Both you and the wonderful lady who brought you into our family. I wear a ring with a star sapphire, set in white gold and guarded by diamonds that you gave to me on my 16th birthday. I think of it as a representation of our family spirit, the sapphire and its star shining bright like our souls, combined forever. The earth and beauty of life reflected in the sparkling diamonds that demonstrate the fascination of the stone and metal. It has not left my hand in all the time I’ve been away from home. It’s a tangible memory of you and my family which now is so far in physical space but so close in spirit and soul. As I watch the star twist and turn in the light I know that it, like you, will always remain strong and never fade from the light. Forever your star will shine in the light of our hearts and you will never be forgotten.
My dear uncle, I cannot express how much I will miss you or how much I wish I’d been able to say one last good bye. I know how much you loved us all and I know that you know how much each of us loves you. There is nothing that can take that from us. We will guard our family, as you guarded us.
Sleep in peace,
Forever under your watch,
David N. Berger